Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Backyard jackfruit

Following on from yesterdays photo, the spiny skin of the jackfruit

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Saigon Saints AFL Grand Final day

The Saigon Saints Australian Football Club put on a great bash every year for the Australian Rules Football Grand Final. This year the guest speakers were Richmond great Dale Weightman (with microphone) and Doggies champ Peter Foster. The time difference allows for a breakfast and lunch affair with event over well before the sun goes down.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moon cake for sale

Moon cake stalls are starting to be set up all over town for the coming mid-autumn festival. The thing that cracks me up about moon cake is that no one seems to eat it. Everyone just passes the moon cake on as the gift that just keeps on being given

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hố sâu nguy hiểm - Danger, Deep Hole

I love these type of warning signs here because you cannot help feeling they could literally happen. The picture of the car hanging over the edge conjures up images of every mountain pass I have ever travelled on. This one is on the famous construction site Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh st, where they are building an underpass right in the middle of the road.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Overloaded garbage collection

This is a common sight around town. 3 wheeled bikes so overloaded the tyres are close to bursting and the driver can hardly see over his load.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Motorbike washing

These bikes are all lined up for a (relatively) thorough wash. You are in and out in less than 10 minutes and it costs about 50c

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Local BBQs

You can do some good cooking on these simple ceramic BBQs. Place a call to the charcoal man and before you know it you will have a nice little flame under a grill of your favourite meats.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Roast duck and suckling pig

I love these kind of shops. You can drive up on your bike like this lucky bloke is doing and just buy a ready cooked bird or baby big and be on your way. And all this goodness can be yours for less than $10

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Don't be a two-pump chump

The Thanh Nien news can be a great source of information about the oddities of Vietnamese culture. This article goes into the delights of edible remedies for premature ejaculation - the dreaded black chicken. There is a strong belief here in food and drink having medicinal properties, especially in the aid of male sexual performance. Anyone who has had a glass of rice/snake/gecko/fetal pig wine in this country will probably be told that, apart from cleansing the liver or aiding digestion, it will make them "strong" in the sack. Without trying to be a spoilsport, to the best of my knowledge there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

Friday, September 18, 2009

High tide in District 2

Not far from where I live, the high tide of the Saigon river comes up through the storm water drains and spills out across the lower lying streets. Newcomers always think that the flooding is associated with heavy rains in the wet season, but this area floods naturally during the higher tides of each month. I have no idea how the residents can stand it

Thursday, September 17, 2009

HTV building and high school

HCMC Television (HTV) is the second largest television network in the nation, just behind the national Vietnam Television (VTV). the HTV building (left of centre) was built in 2006 and broadcasts 24/7 on 7 different channels. The building in the centre of the picture is a newly built high school, which has the distinction of being surrounded by communications towers

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cimigo building

I really like the lines on this new building. The sharp angles seem to be a perfect match with the Cimigo Market Research company that occupies it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Honduras supporter?

You see a lot of sporting good knockoffs here, but I think this one could almost be legitimate. The bigger question though is how did a Honduras football shirt make its way on to the back of this Vietnamese cyclist? A friend of mine believes that there is every chance that "Honduras" could be confused as the country that produces Honda motorbikes. With motorbike rip-offs named Hongda this could be entirely plausible.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barbecue Garden

Barbecue Garden is a downtown eatery that is exactly how it sounds - every table has a barbecue and its outside in a garden. Not a bad way to enjoy an evening meal

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Notre Dame Cathedral

The city's most prominent christian church can still be easily spotted even as the sky starts to fill with larger buildings. I am impressed that both the church and the park are still visible from the west through the new Asiana Plaza

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mostly tall ships for sale

I really like the randomness of some shops here. This store is basically stocked with miniature tall ships, some even in bottles and little ones in light globes. But then they also sell caps made out of pepsi and coke cans, clocks and toy helicopters. How can you resist?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Kumho Asiana Plaza

The recently completed Asiana Plaza has not officially opened but last night it was all ablaze as furniture and office equipment was being moved in.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Downtown construction

There is a lot of construction happening all over Saigon at the moment, for a more detailed look go here. The city seems in an incredible rush to modernise and I cannot help wondering how well planned the new Saigon will be. There is a real lack of green space within the city and sites like the very large hospital grounds in the foreground must be kept at bay from developers. Time will tell I guess

Monday, September 07, 2009

Almond fingers

One of my favourite desserts here are almond fingers at Warda. Can never get enough

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Bridge lighting

This new bridge over the Saigon river has just installed relatively impressive lighting underneath that changes colours every 10 seconds or so. I usually would not have a problem with this except that HCMC suffers from poor electricity supply and pointless lighting (as opposed to necessary street lighting) I find, um, pointless. I did not realise it at the time, but while traveling on a one-way street, the sign is also facing the wrong way. While this may seem strange to international visitors, with so many motorbikes driving the wrong way down one-way streets it might actually have some impact.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Vietnam National Day

It was National Day yesterday and the streets all around HCMC were decorated with banners of the national flag and the hammer and sickle. The streets become a sea of red on such holidays

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September Theme Day - Big

I fly out of HCMC a lot at dawn, and occasionally we swing by the delta where the Saigon and Dong Nai rivers meet. The delta is quite large and is famous for its mangrove forests near the oceans edge, while inland the network of canals is used to navigate around the rice paddies. From the sky all you can really see is water everywhere. I always find it an impressive sight

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